World's View

Copyright: MCSA-KZN 1998 ©

Most of the information about this venue has been obtained from Gavin Raubenheimer of Peak High Mountaineering.


This small crag is located just north of Pietermaritzburg, on the east flank of World’s View. This hill is easily recognised by the tall FM radio mast on the summit. The crag has a number of short trad routes and some nice, moderate bouldering. Because of the quick and easy access, 'Maritzburg climbers sometimes use this venue as a convenient site to train at after work, as an alternative to a climbing wall.

About the Crag

The rock is Vryheid Series sandstone and is very coarse grained. The cliff runs for about 300 metres but is only climbable in certain parts. The main climbing area is about 8 m high. The far left-hand side of the line of rock nearest the tower has been top roped but is generally not worth while. Rock climbers have used World's View for many years, going back to at least the early seventies and maybe even as early as the fifties. The names of the first ascentionists are only given if they are positively known.

How To Get There

From the Pietermaritzburg city hall drive north down Commercial Rd. Carry on over the railway bridge and up the hill. Commercial Rd now changes to Howick Rd. At the top of the hill turn left at the traffic-circle into Old Howick Rd. From the circle drive 2,3 km and then turn right into Ferryden Place. Park on the grass near the intersection. The crag is on the hillside above. Cross the road and take a path diagonally left up the hill for 40 m. The path then swings to the right and up another steep bank. At the top of the bank, walk about 30 m to the right, along the old, abandoned Natal Government Railway (no tracks remain). A vague path leads off up the slope to the base of the crag.

Alternative approach: Sometimes during the winter months the bush is cleared and access can be gained by driving along the old NGR line. To do this, continue along Old Howick Road for a further 1,4 km beyond the Ferryden Place turn-off. Turn left onto the road/rail-bed and then drive back until under the crags. Always check this out first as it saves a great deal of effort if the road along the old NGR is 'drive-able'.

Route Descriptions: Left-Hand Side

The main feature of the crag is the prominent, reddish buttress that stands out from the hillside directly above Ferryden Place. The first routes described below are some 30 m to the left of this buttress in a rather bushy area. Several routes have been claimed by an assortment of parties so the first ascentionists are only mentioned when there is certainty about their identity. The routes are described from left to right.

1. Shattered (15) *

FA: Gavin Raubenheimer and Jeremy Farquharson (1987).
In an area of trees climb a straight layback crack with a dirty exit. The crack is currently blocked by an old, rotting tree root, but this could be easily cleared.

2. Number Nineteen (19) *

FA: Gerald Camp (1986)
On the edge of the bushy area climb the off-width which widens at the top.

3. Fag (13)

FA: Gavin Raubenheimer and Sandy Fismer
Climb the layback crack in the left facing corner about 30 m to the right of the buttress.

4. Slip and Slide Traverse (18) * * *

To the right of 'Fag' a long slab gives nice, delicate traversing in either direction.

Route Descriptions: Main Buttress Area

This is the area with the more worthwhile routes.

5. Zig Zag (17) * * *

This route is located on the left side of the main buttress and starts in a large recess under a small roof. Climb the left facing corner formed by a short pillar of rock above the roof. Pull up through the overlap using the good crack to the left. Move left for about 3 m across the face and then exit up the layaway crack to the top. This is a worthwhile and well protected route.

About 4 m to the right of 'Zig Zag' there is a large recess up the main buttress which can be used for access to the top of the crag - grade 9. A further 4 m to the right there is a large, right-facing corner with a small ledge at 1,5 metres. Above the ledge there are two cracks. These are the start of the following two routes:

6. Killer 1 (15) * *

Climb up onto the ledge in the corner. Make an awkward move up the left-hand crack and onto the arete. Finish straight up. A large cam or hex is useful.
7. Killer 2 (14) * *
Start as for 'Killer 1' but climb the right-hand crack by doing a semi jam move up to a platform on the right then finish straight up. Both Killer routes are pleasant lines.
8. Arete Route (19) *

FA: Gerald Camp (1986)
Start one metre to the right of 'Killer 2', below the nose of rock forming an overhang. Climb straight up past the hand rail and onto the ledge of 'Killer 2' then continue straight up.

To the right of the 'Arete Route' is a face that forms the left-hand wall of a corner with an off-width crack. This face has been top-roped by climbing the wide crack on the right (ie Widow Maker ) for a few metres then using the thin horizontal crack to gain the face on the left. To date there is no record of it being successfully led.
9. Widow Maker (15) * * *

Climb the wide crack passing a chock-stone at 2/3 height. A pleasant route.

Route Descriptions: Right-Hand Side

Most of the cliff to the right of Widow Maker has been top roped or soloed at one time or another. The most obvious line is:

10. Eager Beaver (10) * *

Climb the obvious crack in the face just to the left of the small pillar.
11. Magical Mystery Tour (16) * * *

Start about 7 m to the right of the 'Widow Maker' corner below a big fig tree where the cliff swings sharply back to the left. Traverse from here for about 15 m to reach the end of the crag. This involves some interesting moves.